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Strong winds and high surf expected through weekend in Hawaii

Strong winds in Hawaii can be expected in parts of the state through at least Sunday.

There is a high wind advisory on Hawaii island’s Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea summits over 8,000 feet until Sunday at 11 a.m. Southwest to west winds at the summits are 40-70 miles per hour (mph) with gusts up to 90 mph, which the National Weather Service (NWS) says “will make travel to the summits extremely dangerous.” It is advising against all unnecessary travel until the winds die down.

Two gale watches will be in effect from Sunday at 6 p.m. through Monday afternoon.

One is for Kauai northwest, windward and leeward waters and the Kauai channel; Oahu windward and leeward waters; Kaiwi and Alenuihaha channels; Maui County windward waters; and Hawaii island windward and leeward waters. Seas will be 11-13 feet tonight and lower to 10 feet Sunday before rising to 12 to 18 feet Sunday night through Monday.

A small craft advisory is also in effect for those locations until 6 p.m. Sunday.

The other gale watch is for Maui County leeward waters, Maalaea Bay, Pailolo Channel and Hawaii island southeast waters.

Northwest winds could be up to 35 knots with seas 8 to 12 feet.

Gale watches are issued when the risk of gale force winds of 34 to 47 knots increases significantly but timing and location are uncertain.

Two high surf advisories are in effect—one through the weekend and another until 6 a.m. Sunday.

The north and west facing shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu and Molokai and north facing shores of Maui will experience rough surf “through the weekend due to a combination of strong northerly winds and large seas,” NWS says. “A large, long-period northwest swell will peak today, which will support advisory-level surf continuing along exposed coasts. A brief downward trend is expected Sunday, when surf heights should drop below advisory levels.”

Niihau; the windward and leeward sides of Kauai; the Waianae coast, North Shore, Koolau and Olomana on Oahu; the windward and leeward sides of Molokai; the windward west and central valley of Maui; and windward Haleakala will be under a high wind advisory until 6 a.m. Sunday.

“Surf will be 12 to 18 feet along north and west facing shores of Niihau and Kauai, and along north facing shores of Oahu, Molokai, and Maui. Surf will be 8 to 12 feet along west facing shores of Oahu and Molokai,” NWS says. “Large breaking waves and strong currents will make entering the water dangerous.”

NWS advises to “stay well away from the shoreline along the affected coasts. Heed all advice from ocean safety officials.”

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